Bone marrow transplantation is a method that is undertaken to bring in healthy stem cells. The soft tissue inside the bone is responsible to create new blood cells. BMT is a difficult, risky, and complex procedure that can be lifesaving. Deciding whether it is a best option, what type of transplant, where to get and all can make a big difference. Since these treatments are expensive, HMOs and insurers often try to avoid paying for transplants after cancer is detected.
When Is It Done?
Diseases of the blood, like leukemia, aplastic anemia, and thalassemia can be treated with bone marrow transplantation. Other types of cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma can be treated with BMT. Few rare childhood cancers, including neuroblastoma and sarcomas also show positive effects after BMT is done. The procedure generates stem cells that eventually change into blood cells. The bone marrow is an important part of the human body as it is considered to be the main blood cell factory. If something goes wrong with it, a person can become very ill and even die in some extreme cases. In diseases, like aplastic anemia, and leukemia, the bone marrow is unhealthy and the main aim of BMT to replace the unhealthy cells with healthy stems can eventually cure the disease.
Types of BMT
There are two types of BMT: Autologus and Allogenic. In autologus, the donor is the person herself/himself; after the cells recover, the patient would be given chemotherapy treatment and at the end, the cells are introduced back to the patient’s body in an intravenous way. In Allogenic method, donor is another person with same genetic tissue type of the recipient or patient. In most cases, the recipient will find a suitable donor in a sister or brother. Both donor and recipient should possess a good generic match and is concluded after the conduction of several blood tests. If a family member doesn’t match the transplant, you can as well find a donor through National Marrow Donor Program Registry database where many donors of same ethnic or racial group with the same tissue of recipient exist. However, the chances are less.
Benefits of BMT
There are many things, which find out how healthy the person becomes after BMT cancer treatment. It can bring the disease under control and sometimes could cure the disease completely. Depending on how successful the bone marrow treatment is, the person can get back to his/her normal life in a certain period of time.
It is similar to blood transfusion in which the marrow is introduced into blood stream. Since the bone marrow should be an exact match, the patient’s (recipient) body should accept it rather than rejecting it. There are even complications associated with this treatment and patient can become susceptible to infections or other diseases.